Apply for a plumbing registration

The registration process below is for main classes of plumbing, and varies according to whether you have successfully completed a plumbing qualification via an Australian apprenticeship or not.

Registered plumbers are issued a VBA plumbing registration ID card. If you are a registered plumber, you must have this card with you whenever you carry out plumbing work. The back of the card will outline what plumbing classes you are registered in. You must show the card upon request.

image of a VBA plumbing registration card

The registration process is different for specialised and restricted classes of plumbing. See Apply for registration in a specialised or restricted class.

Main classes

Registration process chart: Step 1 - successfully complete the VBA Exam (known as the Journeyman's exam); Step 2 - successfully complete apprenticeship; Step 3 - submit application; step 4 - the VBA notifies their decision in writing.

Ready to apply

You are ready to apply if you have successfully completed:

  • your apprenticeship
  • the prescribed units of competency for each class you are applying for
  • the journeyman exam for each class you are applying for.

If you completed your apprenticeship in Victoria or Albury, you will normally do your Journeyman exams in the final year of your apprenticeship.

If you completed your apprenticeship interstate, you can still apply for registration. We will book you into your Journeyman exam once you submit your application.

Prescribed Units of Competency

If you completed your qualification in Victoria in the last three years, you will normally have completed the required prescribed units.

If you completed your apprenticeship more than three years ago, interstate or in an earlier version of the qualification, you may be missing some prescribed units. However, you should still apply. We will let you know if you if you need to meet any additional requirements.

About the journeyman exam

You will normally do a practical exam task for each class that you are applying for.

Your TAFE will help you prepare for the VBA Journeyman exam.

Classes your apprenticeship allows you to apply for

The classes you can apply for depend upon the apprenticeship you completed.

Certificate III in Plumbing

The education stream you complete will allow you to apply for different classes of plumbing, as outlined in the following table.

Education streamClass
Drainage Drainage work
Gasfitting Gasfitting work
Mechanical Services Mechanical services work
Roofing Roofing (stormwater) work
Sanitary Sanitary work
Water Irrigation (non-agricultural) work
Water Supply work
Certificate III in Fire Protection

You can apply for Fire protection work.

Certificate III in Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration
An apprenticeship that covers Type B gasfitting skills and knowledge

If your apprenticeship covered Plumbing, Electrical, Instrument making or Boiler making, you can apply for Type B gasfitting work.

How to apply

You must submit:

  • the Registration application form (PDF, 328.11 KB) (updated Oct 2019)
  • certified photocopies of your qualification documents issued by your training provider. This consists of two documents:
    • certificate
    • record of results (your transcript listing the units you completed)
  • a certified photocopy of your apprenticeship completion letter from the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority (VRQA) or from the relevant agency in the state/territory in which you completed your apprenticeship
  • a certified photocopy of your proof of identify documentation
  • two passport photos
  • the application fee and registration fee (see Fees).

Registration process chart: Step 1 is to submit application; Step 2 is to Successfully complete the VBA Exam (registration exam); Step 3 - the VBA notifies of their decision in writing.

Ready to apply

You are ready to apply if you meet all the following conditions:

  • You are familiar with the Australian standards and guidelines relating to each class you intend to apply for.
  • You have successfully completed the prescribed units of competency or have equivalent knowledge and skills to a person who has completed the units for each class you intend to apply for.
  • You feel confident that you would pass the VBA exam for each class that you wish to apply for.
  • You have completed the minimum experience working for a person licensed in each class that you have applied for (or have equivalent overseas experience). The minimum experience is four years for all main classes, except for the following classes which only require two years:
    • Drainage
    • Type B gasfitting
    • Irrigation (non-agricultural).

If you completed a relevant overseas qualification, you should still apply. We will let you know if you if you need to meet any additional requirements. You must provide us with a certified photocopy of your original transcript. If this is not in English, you must also provide a translation from an official Australian translation service.

About the VBA registration exam

For each class that you apply for, the exam generally involves:

  • a theory exam
  • four practical tasks.

The exams are normally held at a TAFE. Once your application has been reviewed and approved to proceed, we will schedule you into the next available exam. We normally provide 10 days’ notice before booking you into an exam.

How to apply

You must submit:

  • the following three forms:
  • if you have completed relevant formal training: certified photocopies of your qualification documents issued by your training provider. These may include:
    • Certificate and Record of Results (your transcript listing the units you completed)
    • Statement of Attainment
    • other academic transcript
  • a certified photocopy of your proof of identify documentation
  • two passport photos
  • the application fee and registration fee (see Fees).

Experience statements and Technical referee reports

If you have not completed an Australian apprenticeship, you need to demonstrate knowledge and competence in the class or classes of work you are applying to be registered in.

Drainage work

Drainage work statement (PDF, 417.45 KB)

Drainage work referee report (PDF, 197.24 KB)

Fire protection work

Fire protection work statement (PDF, 295.49 KB)

Fire protection work referee report (PDF, 224.02 KB)

Gasfitting work

Gasfitting work statement (PDF, 279.99 KB)

Gasfitting referee report (PDF, 194.19 KB)

Irrigation (non-agricultural) work

Irrigation (non-agricultural) work statement (PDF, 233.5 KB)

Irrigation (non-agricultural) work referee report (PDF, 196.65 KB)

Mechanical services work

Mechanical services work statement (PDF, 216.77 KB)

Mechanical services work referee report (PDF, 198.83 KB)

Refrigerated air-conditioning work

Refrigerated air-conditioning work statement (PDF, 200.54 KB)

Refrigerated air-conditioning referee report (PDF, 190.42 KB)

Roofing (stormwater) work

Roofing (stormwater) work statement (PDF, 237.8 KB)

Roofing (stormwater) referee report (PDF, 752.88 KB)

Sanitary work

Sanitary work statement (PDF, 237.18 KB)

Sanitary work referee report (PDF, 725.59 KB)

Type B gasfitting work

Type B gasfitting work statement (PDF, 236.33 KB)

Type B gasfitting referee report (PDF, 662.35 KB)

Water supply work

Water supply work statement (PDF, 257.47 KB)

Water supply work referee report (PDF, 206.06 KB)

Submit your application

By mail:

Victorian Building Authority
GPO Box 536
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

In person:

Victorian Building Authority
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
DOCKLANDS  VIC 3008

You must not make any written or oral statement to the VBA in relation to an application for registration (or for the renewal of registration) that you know, or should reasonably know, is false.

What happens after you apply

After you submit your application, we will review it. If your application is incomplete or we need further information from you, we may:

  • call you to provide additional information
  • invite you into an interview
  • return your application to you.

If you need to undertake an exam, we will contact you to schedule the exam and advise the exam fee. For exam costs see Plumbing fees.

Application outcome

Once the decision regarding the application is made, we will notify you of the outcome in writing.

If your application is successful

You will be registered for up to three years and your details will be added to the VBA Find a practitioner plumbing register.

We will send you a plumbing registration ID card. If you already hold registration in another plumbing class, you will be issued with an updated card.

If you are unsuccessful

We will notify you in writing and outline the reasons why your application was unsuccessful.

You may reapply at a later date. In your subsequent application, you will need to demonstrate that you have addressed the gaps that caused your previous application to be refused.

You have the right to appeal the decision by applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). To apply for a review of the decision, visit VCAT at www.vcat.vic.gov.au or call  (03) 9628 9755.

Other useful information

Proof of identify

Acceptable forms of proof of identity include state or federal government issued photo ID, such as:

  • drivers licence
  • passport
  • Victorian Key Pass
  • VBA registration or licence card.

You will need to submit a certified photocopy of one of these documents with your application.

To have a document correctly certified

  • Photocopy the original document.
  • Take both the original and the photocopy to an authorised person. Find out who can certify documents (PDF, 213.23 KB).
  • Ask the authorised person to do the following on every page:
    • write "I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true copy of the original."
    • write their name
    • sign each statement.